Dan Patrick: Ohio is “very close” to the availability limit for the game versus Alabama Bleacher report

Ohio celebrates after a faltering recovery against Clemson during the second half of the Sugar Bowl College NCAA football game on Friday, Jan 1, 2021, in New Orleans. (AP Photo / Butch Dell)

Butch Dell / Associated Press

The Big Ten has reportedly called for the National College Football Playoff, scheduled for Monday night, to be postponed by one week due to concerns about the number of players who may be inactive in Ohio.

Dan Patrick reported Thursday that Buckeyes is “very close to availability” due to COVID-19 protocols as they prepare to take on Alabama:

Patrick cited particular concerns about the OSU defensive line, the unit that was a deciding factor in the team’s surprise win over Clemson in the Sugar Bowl semi-finals.

John Talty and Matt Zenitz AL.com previously reported that there are discussions between all involved parties – CFP, SEC, Big Ten and both schools – about the possibility of moving the game, which is scheduled to take place at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, through January 18.

On Tuesday, both CFP CEO Bill Hancock and Ohio State Athletic Director Jane Smith said ESPN There were no imminent plans to postpone the match.

Hancock said, “I can tell you there are no changes.” “The match is scheduled for January 11th as planned, and we are looking forward to that.”

Smith added, “We follow the same protocols that we followed throughout the season. We intend to play January 11, and continue to communicate with the Big Ten and now the CFP; so at this time, we see it being played. But who knows what tomorrow will come in? This is COVID. We are on.” Right way now. “

There was no indication that there were contingency plans in the event Buckeyes fell below availability, which could be especially difficult if it occurs after the two teams have already arrived in Florida.

Alabama, led by Heisman Trophy laureate, DeVonta Smith, scored a 31–14 victory over Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl semifinals.

“Last night it was a wonderful feeling,” Smith Reporters Wednesday after beating Heisman on Tuesday evening. “It was just a blessing to be in this position [quarterback Mac Jones and head coach Nick Saban]. But this is in the past, and now it’s Ohio. “

If the title match is not postponed, the start will be scheduled for Monday 8 PM ET on ESPN.

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